Transfer news specialist Fabrizio Romano has reported that Barcelona have secured the signing of right-back Julian Araujo.

Romano’s update about the 21-year-old caught many by surprise, as it has emerged 15 days after the final day of the January 2023 transfer window. The Blaugrana were notably keen to sign Araujo last month, but complications on deadline day seemingly prevented them from doing so.

Nevertheless, they now seem to have got their man outside the active transfer period. Romano provided some details on the move involving Araujo, who has been plying his trade for MLS outfit LA Galaxy for nearly four years. The transfer news expert tweeted:

“Julian Araujo to Barcelona, here we go! Mexican right back will travel tomorrow to Barcelona — deal finally done after crazy Deadline Day saga.”

Romano added:

“Araujo will sign a contract until June 2026; deal agreed with LA Galaxy for bit less than €4m total package. It’s done.”

Further details about the deal are expected to emerge soon. Fans, though, will be keen to find out how the Blaugrana pulled off the transfer more than two weeks after the transfer window closed.

Julian Araujo set to bolster youthful Barcelona defence

Barcelona have trended towards building a more youthful team under manager Xavi Hernandez.

That has been particularly true of their backline, which boasts the likes of Ronald Araujo, Jules Kounde and Alejandro Balde. While Araujo is 23, Kounde is 24, and Balde is 19. Even Andreas Christensen, one of the more experienced defenders in the squad, is only 26.

Julian Araujo, 21, is set to add to the youthfulness of the Blaugrana defence. He will likely challenge Kounde for the right-back spot, with Hector Bellerin having left the Camp Nou for Sporting in January. Alternately, Araujo’s arrival could lead to Kounde transitioning back to central defence too.

In Araujo, Barcelona have got a burgeoning talent who could already be versed in the Blaugrana ways. The Mexico international was notably part of the club’s residency academy in the USA before moving to LA Galaxy in March 2019.

Araujo played 109 times for the Los Angeles-based team, registering two goals and 14 assists. The right-back made 35 of those appearances in the 2022 campaign, recording a goal and five assists. He also averaged 1.2 key passes, 1.3 interceptions, 2.1 tackles, 2.3 clearances per game last season.